Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Decrease of psychomotor performance in subjects with latent 'asymptomatic' toxoplasmosis

Havlíček, J., Gašová, Z., Smith, Andrew Paul, Zvára, K. and Flegr, J. 2001. Decrease of psychomotor performance in subjects with latent 'asymptomatic' toxoplasmosis. Parasitology 122 (5) , pp. 515-520. 10.1017/S0031182001007624

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Download (262kB) | Preview

Abstract

Toxoplasma gondii is known to induce specific behavioural changes in its intermediate hosts. This is usually considered to be an evolutionary adaptation aimed to increase the probability of transmission of the parasite into its definitive host, the cat, by predation. In rodents an increase of reaction time as well as many other specific behavioural patterns have been observed. Here we report the results of our double blind study showing the significantly longer reaction times of 60 subjects with latent toxoplasmosis in comparison with those of 56 controls. Moreover, the existence of a positive correlation between length of infection and mean reaction time suggested that slow and cumulative effects of latent toxoplasmosis rather than a one-step (and possibly transient) effect of acute toxoplasmosis disease are responsible for the decrease of psychomotor performance of infected subjects. To our knowledge, this is the first study confirming the existence of such parasite-induced changes in human behaviour that could be considered in evolutionary history of the human species as adaptive from the point of view of parasite transmission.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: manipulation hypothesis; parasite; human; reaction times; Toxoplasma gondii; behaviour; evolution
Additional Information: Pdf uploaded in accordance with publisher's policy at http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0031-1820/ (accessed 24/02/2014).
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0031-1820
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:11
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/34320

Citation Data

Cited 131 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Cited 87 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics